RPG a Day: Generous interpretation

21. What was the funniest misinterpretation of a game rule in your group?

ArsM4We’re rarely hung up on rules interpretations, and I can’t think of any hilarious examples. But back a decade ago we started an Ars Magica (4th edition) game and we went through the Covenant creation, with dismaying results.

In this game there are tiers of characters: the all-important Magi, hero-level Companions, and the ubiquitous, disposable “grogs” that serve them. The characters form a pool; in any given adventure you normally have one player using their mage character, one or two playing their Companion characters, and the rest of the group playing the lowly, short-lived but balls-to-the-walls grogs.

While wizard and companion character creation has lots of options, grog creation is usually done based on random ability rolls. To speed up the creation and bookkeeping we use the Metacreator software package, which allowed to roll the stats automatically, and we all agreed that for grogs we would take these stats rolled as-is.

Months of play later, we were discussing one player’s favourite grog, who had simply astounding (positive) ability scores. The player cheerfully explained that the scores were “as rolled”, but he had used the software to roll hundreds of times until he had a grog he liked! To this day, I’m at a loss to explain how this could have been a misunderstanding.

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